- Columbia Pike, Crystal City-Pentagon City route improvements
- New weekend service
- Eight new buses allow for additional service
Starting this month, Arlington County will improve bus service along Columbia Pike and in Crystal City-Pentagon City, as well as to destinations in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor by extending several local bus routes and making service more frequent.
The additional service is made possible by the arrival of eight new buses for the Arlington Transit (ART) fleet. The County Board approved the service enhancements when it adopted Arlington’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget.
“These bus service improvements are a first step in meeting the current transit needs for Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Pentagon City, as we work to create vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods along these corridors,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Every day ART helps thousands of Arlingtonians get to work, school and other activities, and the additional service will make ART an even more reliable transportation choice all week long.”
Development of longer-term strategies to enhance transit for the Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Pentagon City corridors is underway as part of the County’s Transit Development Plan update.
Service enhancements for three ART routes
On Monday, July 6, more frequent service will be added to the ART 41 and 43. ART 87 will undergo the most changes with additional service in the evenings, extended weekend service and a new route.
- ART 41 (Columbia Pike-Ballston-Court House): More frequent evening and weekend service will be added.
- Weeknight and Saturday night buses will run every 23 minutes
- Saturdays and Sundays, during the day, buses will run every 15 minutes
- Weekday service will run every 15 minutes
- ART 43 (Crystal City-Rosslyn-Court House): Service will be extended to 10:35 a.m. during the morning rush and 7:47 p.m. during the evening rush. Buses will run aboutevery 10 minutes.
- ART 87 (Pentagon Metro-Army Navy Drive-Shirlington):
- Service will be extended until 11:41 p.m. on weekdays and 11:53 p.m. on Saturdays
- NEW: Sunday service will be added,running from 7:14 a.m. to 7:11 p.m.
- On weekends, ART 87 will run to the Pentagon City Metro Station instead of the Pentagon Metro Station
- Evening weekday rush hour service will alternate at Pentagon Metro Station every 10 minutes between the full ART 87 route to Shirlington and anew ART 87P route between the Pentagon and South Lang Street in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood. ART 87X express service will not be operated during the evening rush.
The new schedules are available on ArlingtonTransit.com.
Adding 40-foot buses with low floors
Eight new 40-foot buses arrived in June as the latest additions to the ART fleet. ART has been gradually adding the 40-foot buses to its fleet of mostly 35-foot buses, and deploying them on high-ridership routes. The longer buses can hold more passengers, both standing and seated. All of the vehicles have low floors for easier boarding and are powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas.
The bus purchase is part of a fleet replacement and expansion plan included in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan. The vehicles are funded by a combination of state and regional funds and local commercial real estate tax revenues that can only be used for transportation.
Construction for new bus facility starts this summer
Along with new buses, Arlington is moving forward on construction of a new bus operations facility in Crystal City, at South Eads and 32nd Streets. The County Board approved a construction contract for the project in May. The facility will provide crucial operational space for the growing ART fleet. It will include a light-duty maintenance bay, bus wash bay, a compressed natural gas fueling station and parking. Construction will begin this summer.
ART’s 15 routes inside Arlington County supplement Metrobus service. Started as peak-period shuttles to Metrorail, ART buses have become a workhorse in the County’s transportation system, with ridership growing from 650,000 annually in 2004 to nearly 3 million in the current fiscal year. ART’s fleet of 57 low-floor buses is environmentally friendly, operating on clean-burning compressed natural gas. Satisfaction with ART hit a new high in 2013, with 90 percent of riders saying they are satisfied or very satisfied with the service, based on the results of a ridership survey.